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Five ex-Citi execs not to get severance payouts

June 02, 2009 18:39 IST

Citigroup will not pay its five former top executives millions of dollars in promised severance payouts, says a media report.

"Citigroup has told about five former top executives that it won't pay them tens of millions of dollars in promised severance payouts," The Wall Street Journal has reported attributing to people familiar with the matter.

The affected executives include Michael Klein, who was co-head of the New York company's investment bank, and Kevin Kessinger, formerly in charge of operations and technology at Citi, the report published online said.

Klein and Kessinger both got lucrative severance packages when they left last year, including periodic cash payments.

Citi has already paid out more than half of the nearly $100 million it promised to the former executives, the daily said.

Quoting people familiar with the situation, the report noted that the company officials recently decided not to proceed with the remaining payments, concluding that they wanted to avoid even the possibility of a public backlash over the money.

Citi has already received more than $45 billion in taxpayer-funded capital, and the US government would take about 34 per cent stake in the company.

Attributing to a person familiar with the discussions, the daily said Citi's officials have briefed the treasury department on their plans to halt the severance-related payments.

Klein, a 23-year Citi veteran who resigned in July after tension with its chief executive Vikram Pandit and his deputies, probably has the most to lose from Citigroup's decision to stop making promised severance payments, the report noted.

According to the publication, Klein's agreement included $42 million in cash and stock in a series of payments through 2009, in exchange for him not working for a rival bank or trying to poach Citigroup employees or clients.

He was due to get $21.3 million in cash on March 31 and another $7.5 million on October 5, the Wall Street Journal said citing regulatory filings.

However, it is not clear if Citigroup made the March 31 payment, the report added.

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